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Celtic Connections

Irish-Scottish Relations and the Politics of Culture

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Edited By Willy Maley and Alison O'Malley-Younger

While a number of published works approach the shared concerns of Ireland and Scotland, no major volume has offered a sustained and up-to-date analysis of the cultural connections between the two, despite the fact that these border crossings continue to be politically suggestive. The current collection addresses this area of comparative critical neglect, focusing on writers, from Charles Robert Maturin to Liam McIlvanney, whose work offers insights into debates about identity and politics in these two neighbour nations, too often overwhelmed by connections with their larger neighbour, England.
The essays in this collection are distinct yet connected, and are designed to come together like the intricate cross-bars and precise patterning of the plaid to capture the complexity of the Celtic connections they address. They move from pre-history to postmodernism, from Gothic to Gaelic and from Macbeth to Marxism, incorporating gender and genre, and providing a detailed survey of responses to the Irish-Scottish paradigm.

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WILLY MALEY AND NIALL O’GALLAGHER Coming Clean about the Red and the Green: Celtic Communism in Mac

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lean, MacDiarmid and MacLean Again From Sorley Boy MacDonnell to Sorley MacLean One of the great opponents of English rule in Ireland in the sixteenth cen- tury was Sorley Boy MacDonnell (Somhairle Buidhe MacDhomhnaill). Sorley Boy, according to the New DNB, was: the sixth and youngest son of Alastair or Alexander MacDonald of Dunyvaig and the Glens (d. 1536x9), chieftain, of clan Iain Mhòir or clan Donald south in Scotland, and his wife, Katherine or Caitirfhiona, daughter of John MacIan, lord of Ardnamurchan. He was called Boy (Gaelic, Buidhe [yellow]) because of his fair hair. During Sorley’s youth his father, a cousin of John MacDonald, fourth lord of the Isles, built up a power base for his family in both Scotland and Ulster, receiving land grants on Islay, Colonsay, and Kintyre from Colin Campbell, third earl of Argyll, and his brother in 1519. (McDonnell, 2008) Sorley Boy MacDonnell was one of the MacDonnells of Antrim, part of the two-way traf fic between Scotland and Ireland that was transformed by the Anglo-Scottish Union of Crowns in 1603 and the Ulster Plantation of 1609 that followed on the heels of that rapprochement between two old enemies and sundering of two old friends. Sorley also bears the same name as the third figure in the triptych we are of fering here, three twentieth- century Scots with a keen interest in Irish af fairs: John Maclean, Hugh MacDiarmid and Sorley Maclean. 134 WILLY MALEY AND NIALL O’GALLAGHER Ireland’s Tragedy, Scotland’s Disgrace (1920): John...

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